Don’t be an Asshole Abolitionist
*Please note, this essay is satire*
Dedicated to those folks who have ample access and choice when it comes to veganism, but who defend their nonvegan choices with claims of how purity puts people off.
Let’s face it, folks: veganism is really difficult for the vast majority of people. It’s okay if you’re an Abolitionist who can live on fresh air and expensive filtered water, but what about the rest of us? I mean, there’s practically nothing for us to eat. I’ve known people who have gone out to eat in restaurants and have been limited in choice to salad, rice and vegetables, baked potato and vegetables, soup, stir fry, pasta, vegetable stew or tagine, or risotto. I mean, these places don’t even serve wheat gluten formed into the shape of a breaded animal part, or anything that replicates the taste of fish, so how are we actually supposed to enjoy ourselves?
In the same way that some nonvegans simply can’t live without cheese, some vegans simply can’t live without cookies, bread, or chips. And, since the original definition of veganism extends to what is practicable and possible, for some folks it just isn’t practicable or possible not to eat a cookie containing sugar processed with bone char, or bread containing hair or feathers, or chips that have been fried in the same oil as animals’ dead bodies.
Here are some tips:
* Never refuse a cookie, even if you’re not sure of the ingredients. The rule that non-judgemental, non-purist vegans live by is “if you can’t see an animal product in it, then there’s no animal product in it.” Sure, that cookie could be made of minced lambs and chickens, and bound with unpasteurised cheese, but if you can’t see it it’s as good as not eating it. Nonvegans already think of veganism as difficult. If we say “no thank you” to a cookie that they offer us, then they will immediately assume that we don’t want the cookie because it contains sugar processed with bone char, and they will at once conclude that veganism is difficult. Now, there may be lots of reasons why nonvegan people say no to cookies: they don’t like cookies; they like cookies but they don’t like those cookies; they’ve had too many cookies already; they have no tea in which to dip their cookies; they are about to go on a hot date and don’t want raisin breath; they can’t get the packet open and so stare sadly at said cookies for several hours; they just don’t want a bloody cookie! But when you’re a vegan, you must accept the cookies. Always. NEVER say no to cookies. Nonvegans don’t like vegans who say no to cookies.
* When you’re in a restaurant that serves a vegan burger, don’t double-check that the bun is animal-product free. It makes you look fussy if you’re insisting that everything on your plate has to be vegan. Just one or two things will do: after all, the bun is already made, so you’re not adding to demand. Of course, you could choose something else on the menu that you’re sure doesn’t contain animal products, like an undressed salad with vinegar, or a plain baked potato with some steamed vegetables, but you’d have to pretend you actually enjoyed eating that. And who enjoys eating salad? Everyone knows salad=suffering. Only eat foods that don’t look like vegetables: remember, your veganism is entirely for the benefit of the nonvegan gaze, and if they see you doing veganny things, then this will put them off.
* If you are in the middle of a crowded city centre, and you get the urge for chips, have those chips. Who cares if the chips have been fried in oil that has batch after batch of dead animals’ body parts fried in it all day? Who cares if those dead animal parts are clinging to your chips? Chips are more important than ethical principles, and you don’t want to appear to be one of those vegans. Gosh, if you start refusing chips that have been cooked with dead animals, then you’ll have to stop walking on the pavement because you might kill an ant.
Remember, folks, ethical principles mean nothing. And when it comes time for you to advocate veganism to a friend, remind yourself to create the kind of veganism that would most appeal to them: after all, it’s not about not consuming animal products, or using animals in other ways; it’s all about looking like you’re having a great time. Practicable and possible: don’t check Barnivore; have dairy milk in your coffee if the café doesn’t have soy; and never refuse a cookie. The more you make veganism look like nonveganism, the more the animals will thank you.
Veganism is, above all, a matter of justice. If the right of animals not to be treated as a means to our ends means anything to us, then we must behave in a way that demonstrates that to be true. Refusing to eat something that contains animal products is no more difficult than refusing to eat a chicken’s leg. Embrace veganism as the least we owe to nonhuman animals. Visit www.HowDoIGoVegan.com and www.AbolitionistApproach.com to learn more.